Lawrence County Independent Schools asks Lawrence County Council to consider a two-year bond

BEDFORD – Lawrence County Independent School President Trisha Turner and Vice President Chad Shock appeared before the Lawrence County Council asking them to consider a two-year bond (BAN or Bond Anticipation Note) for the newly formed charter school.

Fayetteville campus of Lawrence County Independent Schools

Lawrence County Independent schools opening date for the charter school on August 9, 2021, with the first students arriving on August 10, 2021.

The bond will be for the future expansion of the facilities on an 18-acre parcel in Fayetteville that will allow for the expansion of the facility.

The charter school’s current enrollment includes 328 students. The school’s capacity is 336 students. This requires 15 teachers, 15 aides, two administrators, and nine support staff to be hired before the opening day.

LCIS expects continual growth over the next five years. LCIS will need additional building space to support a larger enrollment capacity and to be able to have space for a band, orchestra, and advanced courses.

The initial renovation budget to the Fayetteville School is projected at $470,963. This budget number includes security, toilet partitions, fire extinguishers installation, paging and bell system, and installing marker and tack boards.

The initial operational costs are estimated at $350,000. The operational costs include the purchasing of Chromebooks, kitchen equipment, Student information System (Power School), administrative/teacher computers, curriculum purchases and assessment licensing, and transportation contracts.

In order for charter schools to fund capital projects, they have the following opportunities to gain funding:

  • Conventional taxable financing from a bank or similar private loan
  • Charitable contributions or other accumulated funds
  • Government financing (grant or loan programs)
  • Federal tax credit financing
  • Tax-exempt financing by private placement of publicly offered bonds

The Lawrence County Council took the information under advisement and will be researching whether the county council can legally undertake a loan for a non-profit organization.

Lawrence County Independent Schools will be obtaining additional information from other bond companies. LCIS’s attorney will present additional information when the Lawrence County Council is ready to formally review the bond request.

“With all the obstacles you have faced in getting this started, we would like to congratulate you on the work you have done so far,” said Lawrence County Councilmember Rick Butterfield.

Councilmembers Rick Butterfield and Jeff Lytton told LCIS officials they were not opposed to this proposal but more research is needed before a final decision is made.